what does shrimp taste like?

If you’re a big fan of seafood then shrimp is likely one of the staple parts of your diet. Many people confuse shrimp with prawns and while they are similar, they are two very different animals.  

However, for those of you who have never tasted shrimp, you may be wondering what it tastes like.

With some kinds of seafood, there can be a very bold flavour that often puts people off. Fortunately, shrimp has a pleasant taste that is universally appealing.  

In this guide, we are going to be looking at what to expect when eating shrimp for the first time and giving you some helpful tips on how to make the most of adding shrimp to your diet.  

What Should Shrimp Taste Like? 

Shrimp has a texture that is quite crunchy and sometimes chewy. However, the texture of the shrimp will largely depend on how it has been cooked.

You can adjust the texture by applying different cooking techniques and everyone will have a different preference when it comes to this.  

The flavour shrimp is often compared to chicken (what isn’t) but the key difference is that there is a mild fishy flavour.

This fishy taste should be very mild, if it is overly potent, this is an indication that the shrimp has not been fully cooked. 

Raw shrimp has quite a pungent aroma but this tends to fade during the cooking process.  

What Does Shrimp Taste Like When It’s Bad? 

The last thing you want is to eat bad shrimp; this can make you very ill but we will look at that in a little more detail later on.

But before we get into that, it is important to understand what bad shrimp looks and tastes like, this way, you can avoid eating too much of it.  

Before you even put the shrimp in your mouth, you will be able to tell whether it is any good to eat. Shrimp that has gone bad tends to have a much slimier texture than fresh, edible shrimp.  

When the shrimp is bad, the odour will change. Where it may have smelled slightly salty and fishy when it was fresh, bad shrimp will start smelling a lot more sour.  

If you find that your shrimp is like this, you should immediately discard it. However, if someone else has cooked the shrimp for you, it may take tasting it to discover whether it is bad.  

Why does shrimp taste like chemicals? 

Sometimes, shrimp can develop a chemical taste that is very similar to ammonia or chlorine. If you taste shrimp that has this flavour, you should stop eating it immediately. 

Why does shrimp taste like iodine? 

When they are alive, shrimp have a big appetite for algae and other sea plants. These give them a distinct iodine taste but this is perfectly normal and does not mean that they have gone bad.

This tends to be more prominent in brown-coloured shrimp as opposed to the white ones.  

Can You Get Sick From Eating Old Shrimp? 

It is vital that, when eating any type of seafood, you are mindful that there is a possibility that it could make you sick if it has gone bad.

The Japanese dish, Fugu, which is made from pufferfish can be fatal if not cooked correctly.  

Fortunately, eating raw shrimp won’t cause too many problems, although you may experience some mild food poisoning due to the bacteria that are present in uncooked shrimp. 

What happens if you eat rotten shrimp? 

Eating rotten shrimp, on the other hand, could cause what is known as shellfish poisoning. The onset of the symptoms typically begins between four and twenty-four hours after having eaten the bad shrimp.  

The symptoms of shellfish poisoning are very similar to those of food poisoning and may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, fatigue and a high temperature, among other things.  

Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest is usually enough to get through the conditions. However, in rare cases, you may need to be admitted to hospital to be hydrated via a drip.  

What Tastes Better: Prawn Or Shrimp? 

Some people become confused about whether shrimp and prawn are the same thing. They are different animals but are both shellfish. 

For this reason, shrimp and prawn taste very similar. There is slightly more sweetness to a prawn and they may have a slightly meatier texture. The shrimp is often said to be a little more delicate.  

Is Shrimp Healthy To Eat? 

If you have got the taste for shrimp, the good news is that this is a very healthy food and can be incorporated into your diet in a variety of ways.  

Owing to the high levels of iodine that are found in shrimp, this is a great way to get the mineral into your body. Iodine if not found in many foods and is often taken through dairy products like milk and yoghurt. Tuna is another good source of iodine.  

Iodine is great for brain health and can help the thyroid gland to function correctly.  

Shrimp is a great source of protein and is also a low calorie food making it ideal for those who may be trying to lose weight. It is also packed with vitamins and nutrients including vitamin B12, phosphorus, iron and zinc.  

However, it is important to keep in mind that while shrimp does have many health benefits, it is high in cholesterol so it should be eaten in moderation.  


Shrimp is a type of shellfish that is often compared with prawns. If you have ever tried prawns then you will likely recognise that taste when eating shrimp. Having said that, shrimp is slightly less sweet and has a more delicate flavour. 

Shrimp is a great source of protein and has a huge number of vitamins and minerals that make it great as part of a healthy diet.

However, you should be careful since when shrimp goes bad, there is a significant risk that it will make you sick. If you notice the shrimp smells sour or is slimy, it is time to chuck it out and get a fresh batch.